Coming straight from West Memphis with 11 years of rapping already under his belt, 20 year-old 2Cold Kingpin, a.k.a. 2Cold,hasn’t wasted any breath in Murfreesboro since he dropped his first full-length album, My Reality, back in May. Collaborating with five producers from around the world, 2Cold accumulated enough beats to produce these 18 tracks, blending heavy string-synth melodies and hi-hat driven drum-machines with the individual quirks from each of the collaborators. And it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to hear a couple of these songs in the clubs around town this fall.
The title track, “My Reality,” begins the album by catching the audience with a synthesized string section slowly working up through the first couple of verses into a crescendo that seems to never come. Lyrically, 2Cold strives for a better life in “My Reality,” by reaching for the sky and furthermore, out of the neighborhoods that can inevitably become caskets until, finally, the climax in the last verse kicks in when 2Cold and the hi-hats spit it double-pace with the synth-strings intensifying into an abrupt end. Songs “Hinder the Truth” and “Mic Check” stay true to that framework as well.
The beats are good and entertaining, though, reminding you how fun making an album can be. He plays around with soul samples, occasional refrains and fades everything out for an acapella flow from time to time while exploring more subject matter. For example, his heartfelt yearning in “No Locks (Extended),” could stand as this rapper’s mating call while “From a Kiss” takes the subject of love further and into the back seat of his car. But 2Cold shows the true nature of romance with the slower-pace romantic love ballad, “Gangsta’s Bride,” about the beautiful, honest woman he’s ready to cherish and who’s willing to murder for him, if need be.
Aside from love, 2Cold’s gangsta’s mentality is there too. “Baby, I’m a Monster”—which has to be the future club hit—along with “Mafia Raised,” “Like a G” and “Bars and Chains” all say “don’t hate on me.” The latter says it over a Scooby Doo monster-type melody mixed by French producer Nah Gan. Also, “What up Hoe” holds the message over the vocal backing of what sounds like three Rottweilers. It’s great.
2cold is promoting My Reality this fall with his backing band, Black Ice. Their next scheduled appearance is at the Local Color program on Oct. 5 at Bluesboro and the Acoustic Afternoons program on Oct. 19 at MTSU. My Reality and more 2Cold news can be found at 2coldcity.com or on iTunes.